The Religious Book Culture of the Reformation Era 1400-1700

Text – Materiality - Visuality

Day-long seminar, Friday February 20th 2015 at the National Library of Norway in Oslo.
Hosted by the National Library of Norway, the University of Bergen and Denmark’s Reformation History Network.

This seminar has been held.


During the Reformation era, the emergence of reform movements in the church and the development of printing were inextricably intertwined. The demand for Bibles and other religious writings in local languages created a market for the development of a range of genres and formats adapted for different audiences. This was not, however, a free market. It was constrained by monopolies and censorship.

The seminar aims to cast light on the religious, political, cultural, social and linguistic aspects of the religious book culture of the Reformation era.


9.00 – 09.15 Registration

09.15 – 09.20 Welcome to the National Library of Norway

09.20 – 09.30 Introduction by Henning Laugerud and Bente Lavold

09.30 - 10.00: The Reformation in Norway/ Scandinavia 1500-1700: Power Politics and Censorship
Øystein Rian, University of Oslo

10.00 - 10.30: The Use of Latin and the Reformation
Espen Karlsen

10.30- 11.00: Ecclesiastical Book Collections in Norway, 1650-1750
Gina Dahl, The City Archives of Bergen

11.00 -11.15: Break

11.15 – 11.45: The Late Medieval Expression of and Satire on Religious Piety
Lars Bisgaard, University of Southern Denmark

11.45 – 12.15: Devotional Tracts: Religious Book Genres and Formats on the Danish-Norwegian Book Market and in the Everyday Practise of Piety, c. 1500-1700
Charlotte Appel, Roskilde University

12.15 – 13.15 Lunch break and chance to see original materials from the National Library of Norway’s collection

13.15 – 13.45: Possessed by Demons in Køge and Thisted: Book History and the Perception of Reality
John Ødemark, University of Oslo

13.45 – 14.15: Through the Perspective of the Book: Books, Images and ‘Visible Culture’ in Post-Reformation Denmark-Norway.
Henning Laugerud, University of Bergen

14.15 – 14.45: Images and Maps in Bibles and Devotional Books, 1500 – 1700
Bente Lavold, National Library of Norway

14.45 – 14.50 Conclusion